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Research Assistant, Communicable Diseases, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Public Health Ontario

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline September 18, 2015  

12 month part-time contract
Job ID 15-0331

Organizational Overview

Public Health Ontario (PHO) is a Crown Corporation dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. As a hub organization, PHO links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world.

PHO provides expert scientific and technical support relating to infection prevention and control; surveillance and epidemiology; health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental and occupational health; health emergency preparedness; and public health laboratory services to support health providers, the public health system and partner ministries in making informed decisions and taking informed action to improve the health and security of Ontarians.

For more information about PHO, visit

Position Details    

Position Title: Research Assistant
Department: Communicable Diseases, Emergency Preparedness and Response
Duration: Part-time temporary (12 month contract - 3 days/21.75 hour per week)
Location: 480 University Avenue, Toronto
Compensation Group: AMAPCEO
Position Status: Open
Job Code: Group 2
Salary: $43,980 - $57,330 annual
Posting Date: September 3, 2015
Closing Date: September 18, 2015

Reporting to the Principal Investigator and working closely with study investigators and staff, the Research Assistant will provide support to organize and implement research projects within the research program according to established protocols.

The Research Assistant will contribute to various aspects of study implementation such as data collection and analysis, knowledge syntheses, and scientific writing. The Research Assistant may assist with efforts to apply for additional third party funding.

Key Responsibilities    

  • Contributes to the development and pilot testing of primary data collection tools (e.g. surveys and focus group guides); administer data collection protocols.
  • Screens participants for inclusion criteria, recruits study participants (i.e. sends invitations to participate, telephone follow-up) and schedules data collection tasks; facilitates informed consent procedures (i.e. administration of consent forms, documenting verbal consent) and communicates study benefits and risks.
  • Supports administration of focus groups, questionnaires following protocols established for data collection.
  • Extracts data from existing sources according to a defined protocol or coding scheme.
  • Assists with qualitative data collection (maintaining field notes, transcribing audio tapes) and qualitative data analysis (applying thematic coding schemes to transcribed data and validating coding by applying inter-rater methodology.
  • Completes data entry and data cleaning, and performs quality checks.
  • Assists with literature reviews of all types by creating and running search strategies for web-based search tools, selecting relevant documents by reviewing abstracts for inclusion/exclusion criteria, and drafting summary reviews of key articles.
  • Creates and maintains a reference management file (Refworks, Endnote, Refman) required for literature reviews, manuscripts and reports.
  • Performs basic quantitative data analysis including descriptive analyses; summarizes results in tabular and graphical form for use in presentations, manuscripts, and other reporting formats.
  • Prepares for and supports Advisory Committees by coordinating logistics, preparing materials such as agendas, and providing on-site supports such as taking minutes.
  • Assists research team with additional tasks such as contributing to the development of Research Review Board and Ethics Reviews Board applications, abstract submissions, poster preparations, preparation of CVs and manuscript and grant applications.
  • Schedule team meetings, maintain minutes and agendas as well as contribute to research team updates.
  • Manages documents and processes on SharePoint to ensure systems are set up to orderly archive and access relevant materials such as research ethics approvals, authorization of funds.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methodology (data collection and analysis) as well as related software applications (SPSS, SAS, NVivo).
  • Skill and ability in implementation of qualitative research data collection and analysis.
  • Proven skill and expertise in conducting literature searches, data extraction and critical appraisal.
  • Skill and ability to classify and map literature to research objectives and to identify gaps in research evidence.
  • Skill and expertise in maintaining reference management files (e.g. Refworks, Endnote, and Refman) for peer-reviewed and grey literature to inform literature reviews, manuscripts and reports.
  • Demonstrated computer and data management skills including proficiency in MS Office (e.g. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
  • Skill and ability to work in a matrix management structure and within cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Planning, organizing, project management skills, and initiative in order to work effectively and efficiently under conditions of multiple deadlines and changing priorities with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Ability to approach and manage assignments in a fast-paced environment.
  • Clear understanding of the research process acquired through both practical and academic experience.
  • Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with both internal and external colleagues and clients.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to work collaboratively, and ability to organize work efficiently.

Education and Experience    

  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, social sciences or related discipline, in order to provide support to study investigators to implement research projects.
  • One to three (1-3) years of experience supporting applied research at an academic department, research institute, public health unit or organization related to public health or health policy.
  • Master’s degree would be considered an asset.
  • Experience in supporting qualitative research would be considered an asset.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please visit and click on the job title.  Your cover letter and resume must clearly indicate how you meet the qualifications/competencies.

Thank you for your interest in this position, however, only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.